Hans-Joachim Opitz (1979-1986)

Secretary-General Hans Joachim OptizPortrait of Hans Joachim Opitz, Secretary General of the European Parliament © European Union 1989 – European Parliament


Hans-Joachim Opitz was born in Leipzig, Germany on 11 January 1921. He attended university courses in Dresden, Leipzig, Tübingen, Freiburg, London and Paris and was awarded a doctorate in Economic Science. He was the first Secretary-General of the Christian-Democratic Group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) as of 1 January 1954. After the first direct election of the European Parliament in 1979, he became the Secretary-General of the European Parliament and retained that status until he retired in 1986.

Secretary-General Hans Joachim OptizSimone Veil, President of the EP, meeting with the Presidents of the National Parliaments in Luxembourg with Hans-Joachim Opitz, Secretary General of the EP (C) and Enrico Vinci (L) © European Union 2019 – European Parliament

Opitz published "The Concept of Administration in Business and Economic Studies" in 1955.

He received the German Federal Cross of Merit (1st class) and was Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.

Opitz passed away on 12 April 2018.

Administrative and political posts held

1939-1945: Military service
1945: Chargé d’affaires for Americans for Jewish issues in Leipzig
1945: Co-founder of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
1945-1946: Secretary of the Leipzig CDU
1953: Director assistant to a chemical industry in Frankfurt
1954-1959: Secretary-General of the CDU Group in the ECSC, later European Parliament
1959-1960: Director of the General Services of the European Parliament
1961-1979: Director-General for General Affairs of the European Parliament
1979-1986: Secretary-General of the European Parliament

What’s in the Archives

This Fond contains 52 files, organised into the following categories: 

  • General organisation
  • Organisation and management of administrative bodies
  • Management of staff
  • Budget and finances
  • Organisation of legislative work and relations with parliamentarians and political groups
  • Question of headquarters, buildings policy and management of premises in the European Parliament
  • Interinstitutional and external relations

Secretary-General Hans Joachim Optiz Signature